Daiichi Sankyo pumping $135m into antibody-drug conjugate production
Details as to where in Japan the investments would be made were not disclosed by spokeswoman Chikako Mani, but she confirmed the ¥15bn would be used to build new and refurbish manufacturing lines at three plants.
“These improvements will optimise and expand the production of fully synthesised ADCs and ensure a stable supply for future investigational and commercial use,” she said in a statement sent to Biopharma-Reporter.
According to Mani, ADCs are one of the most important franchises for Daiichi Sankyo, which has a pipeline consists of six such products. The two most advanced candidates are DS-8201 and U3-1402, both in Phase I clinical studies for breast cancer.
While there are no plans to hire additional employees as a result of this investment, she told us the firm is “strengthening [its] internal human resources to ensure there will be qualified staff who can handle ADC production as well as related quality control and assurance procedures.”
Like fellow Bioppharma firms Pfizer, AbbVie, Genentech and GSK, Daiichi Sankyo licenses its conjugation technology from Seattle Genetics.
The key components of Seattle Genetics’ technology are the stable linkers, which the firm says showed up ten times more stable in blood than conventional means of attaching drugs to antibodies in preclinical studies, and the synthetic cytotoxic agents.
The technology is used in the US FDA approved ADC Adcetris, developed in partnership with Takeda. The only other ADC available on the market is Roche/Genentech’s Kadcyla, which uses conjugation technology licensed from ImmunoGen.